Praying Mantis Kung Fu - Tang láng Chuan
The praying mantis is the master of footwork and Chin Na. Although his kicks are limited, his footwork is the fastest around. In nature when a mantis is prepared to attack, his stance becomes very rooted into the ground. As he pushes his body into a lower and lower stance the tension in his legs becomes tighter and tighter. His legs become like spring steel into the ground, the front legs pushing back and the back legs pushing forward. When either is released his body is instantly propelled in that direction. The action is so fast that he seems to disappear from one point and instantly reappear in another.
In the insect world, the mantis is the most deadly of predators. His voracious appetite keeps him constantly hunting. He is deadly and effective. He knows only one thought and that is to feed.
Because his body has no hips, he cannot turn at the waist. He makes all adjustments with his footwork. He will move on and adjust to his opponent with very small and fast footwork adjustments. His hooking hands always ready to snare his opponent.
The praying mantis is also known for his chin na. His hooking hands are perfectly suited for hooking and locking out an opponents joints. However he does not use his chin na for submission holds. Because Shou' Shu is a war art, it would not make sense to go to a submission position. It is better to use the chin na to pull the opponent into a strike or to achieve point of vulnerability. It is possible to use the chin na for submission holds if the situation is less threatening. It becomes useful in this manner if it is not necessary to hurt the opponent. However it's original use is not for the iron holds but to destroy the opponent and move on, just as the mantis in nature would do.
A mantis shifu is a grappling master. He can lock his opponent's joints without his opponent realizing the weakness until it is too late. He can achieve numerous strikes in one centerline shift. Although the mantis is linear in nature, it is not the same linear motion of the bear. The mantis can evade and move in three dimensions, he just does so while retaining his stick like nature.
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